By: Marwa Samaha
A few days ago, the world celebrated the International Children’s Day, which was announced, on November 20, 1954, and the world celebrated it every year, on the twentieth of November, starting in 1990, so this occasion has great international importance.
The competent authorities from around the world during that day conduct multiple events and awareness campaigns with the aim of improving the quality of life of children in the first place; moreover, emphasize the rights of children to live in a safe and valid environment without prejudice to them with any kind of exploitation, whether this exploitation was related to work, politics, or anything that distorted their age.
While the world condemns the rights of children, Israel violates international law in its policies with the Palestinians, whether adults or children. Therefore, the Palestinian people have become suffering from disquietude and fear for the fate of their children in light of a system that is waiting for them and their future, adopting a policy of unbridled killing, systematic arrest, intimidation attempts, and brainwashing by intimidating minor children during their arrest and imprisonment. Accordingly, some of the basic rights of the child will be highlighted as stipulated in the convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the United Nations in 1989. In a related context, a parallel overview of the situation of Palestinian children will be presented in 2022.
The right to education
Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that all children have the right to education, on an equal opportunity basis. In this regard, the Palestinian Ministry of Education highlighted a number of issues facing Palestinian schoolchildren in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; where Palestinian families are fighting for her children’s right to study the Palestinian curriculum, instead of the one imposed by Israel, which they state distorts and falsifies historical realities. However, Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem – which refuse to teach the Israeli curriculum face funding discrimination and may see their permanent teaching licenses revoked.
Also, about50 schools in the West Bank and East Jerusalem face imminent demolition, or a threat of demolition. In that regard, the Ain Saima school which located into north Jerusalem and serving about 40 students, who have no other school nearby – faces demolition by December 31, 2022, after the Jerusalem District Court rejected the residents’ petition on October 30 to freeze the demolition order and in the Yatta passenger south of Hebron, around 1200 residents face forced displacement. Furthermore, four schools are currently threatened by the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling, paving the way for their demolition.
In that connection, 50 schools in the West Bank and East Jerusalem face imminent demolition, or a threat of demolition. In that regard, the Ain Samia school north of Jerusalem – serving about 40 students, who have no other school nearby – faces demolition, by December 31, 2022, after the Jerusalem District Court rejected the residents’ petition on October 30 to freeze the demolition order. With regard to Yatta passenger that fall into south of Hebron; about 1200 residents face forced displacement, and four schools are currently threatened by the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling, paving the way for their demolition.
In addition to threats to educational institutions in Palestine, schoolchildren are also subjected to an increasing number of physical attacks on students, both by Israeli settlers and by the Israeli army; Students constantly suffer from tear gas inhalation, wounds and bruises; resulting from physical attacks and daytime military raids on classrooms.
The right to housing
Article 27 states that every child has the right to a standard of living favorable to his or her physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development, in particular with regard to nutrition, clothing and housing.” In the light of Israel’s violations, some 409 children were displaced in the first 10 months of 2022 owing to house demolitions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Palestinian-owned homes and structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli control in accordance with the 1994 Oslo Accords, often face demolitions on the pretext that they lack nearly impossible building permits from the Israeli authorities, even if homes are built on privately owned Palestinian land.
Children in East Jerusalem are heavily affected about demolitions and displacements, according to a study by the Child Protection Center: 33% of children affected by house demolitions suffer severe psychological trauma, 60% suffer moderate trauma, and nearly 80% experience symptoms of moderate or severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
In Gaza, 97 families housing hundreds of children were internally displaced after their homes were seriously damaged or completely destroyed during Israel’s three-day bombing campaign against the Strip at the beginning of August. As well, another 1,800 homes were exposed to varying levels of damage.
The right to health care
Article 24 of the Convention guarantees the child’s right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to safe treatment facilities as well as health rehabilitation. However, the Palestinian child ‘ The blockade imposed by the Israeli authorities on the Gaza Strip has continued for more than fifteen years. and wars and strikes between 2008 and 2022 had a devastating impact on Gaza’s health sector, In that time context, children with severe illnesses and injuries had to seek treatment in East Jerusalem’s hospitals, In order to travel to that spot, any child, parent or accompanying guardian must obtain permits from the Israeli authorities.
According to reports by human rights doctors in Israel, approximately 31% of children’s applications for treatment permits that are denied or delayed for a long period of time may make the child’s health worse and offer their chance of recovery to the line. The number of rejected permits doubled between 2020 and 2021, with 17% in 2020 and 32% in 2021 unfortunately three children from Gaza died in 2022 after being denied medical treatment permits in East Jerusalem.
On the other hand, facilities with the child are often denied if the child’s petition to travel to East Jerusalem for treatment is accepted, resulting in more than 40% of children having to travel and receive treatment alone or with someone other than a parent.
The right to protection from torture and arbitrary detention
Article 37 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that children shall not be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, nor shall they be unlawfully or arbitrarily deprived of their liberty, and that imprisonment shall only be used as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.
In a context related to Israel’s violations of international law, the Israeli army has arrested more than 750 children so far in 2022, of whom some 160 remain in detention. Moreover, some 50,000 children have been arrested by Israeli forces since 1967. Including more than 9,000 in the past seven years alone and that at least seven children are arbitrarily detained without charge or trial and without knowledge of the evidence against them, according to administrative detention orders up to six months at a time and renewable indefinitely Palestinian children from the West Bank are systematically tried by military courts and subject to military law, Palestinian children in East Jerusalem are subject to Israeli civil law.
As long as a large percentage of the total number of children detained usually lives in East Jerusalem, this year Jerusalem’s children make up the vast majority of detainees. Jerusalem children are often subjected to house arrest, especially younger children, because Israeli law does not allow the imprisonment of children under 14 years of age. There are currently some 130 Palestinian children in Jerusalem under house arrest. Despite this law, Palestinian Jerusalem man Ahmed Manasra was arrested at the age of 13 in 2015 and imprisoned at the age of 14 for nine and a half years. Now 21, he spent the past year in solitary confinement and his lawyer and doctors say his mental health condition is critical.
In parallel, the conditions of arrest and detention of Palestinian children by the Israeli army and police do not differ in any way from those imposed on adults, and according to the Committee for Detainee Affairs: a 2016 report by Defense for Children International found that 75% of children Detainees suffered physical violence while in detention, 69% were strip searched, 97% were interrogated without the presence of family members or a lawyer, 88% were not informed of the reason for their arrest, 33% were forced to sign documents in Hebrew, and 15% were held in custody Solitary for more than 48 hours. With this in mind, Israel is the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes children in military courts, with a conviction rate of over 99%.
The right to life
Article 6 guarantees the inherent right of every child to life. According to the documents obtained, in addition to the three children who died after being denied medical treatment permits to East Jerusalem, the number of Palestinian children killed in the West Bank and Gaza by Israeli army bullets or Israeli civilians has reached 54 so far in 2022, and it was The last of them is Fula Ramzi Masalmeh , 14 – year- old, who was shot in the head and chest while she was sitting in the passenger seat of an OK vehicle on November 14.
In this regard, 2022 is the bloodiest year in the West Bank since 2003 at the height of the second intifada; As a result, about 56 children were killed by Israeli fire.
The future of Palestinian children in the light of the escalation of Israel’s far-right
In the light of Israel’s violation of the international community’s charters on dealing with Palestinians, especially children’s rights, it should be noted that there is a potential for violations to escalate in connection with the recent growth of far-right movements in Israeli society. As well as the results of the recent legislative elections, which followed a more right-wing and extremist political system, Recent polls indicate a rise in Israeli street support for killing Palestinians even in cases where they do not pose a threat to the military, Increased support for the application of the death penalty to Palestinians and more wars against Gaza to prevent rocket fire. In a final development on the election results, Benjamin Netanyahu reached negotiations to form his coalition government with far-right Jewish Power Party leader Ben Ghafran by granting him the internal security portfolio with expanded powers. The leader of the Religious Zionism Party demands that the far-right Smotrić be infiltrated by the Army Ministry, which also enables him to intervene in the Palestinian territories. Although Smotrich has not got what he wants yet, with Netanyahu wanting to keep his party’s foreign bags, war and finances, the security of Palestinians as well as the flames looking the worst
Based on the data and evidence previously presented, it can be speculated that security matters for the Palestinians and peace processes will turn for the worse, especially in light of the most radical right-wing government in the history of the newly formed Israel headed by Benjamin Netanyahu. Moreover, it is highly likely that Israel will continue to violate the United Nations Convention on Human Rights. The child and the practice of all forms of hostility against the Palestinian child, and this will lead to an increase in hatred and resistance movements towards the Israeli forces, and this will lead to a decline in peace processes between both Israel and Palestine.